After a strong showing in the 2014 Dakar Rally, HRC says it will make the Honda CRF450 Rally available to privateer racers next season. This news has been on the wires for a while now, but it comes with added weight after Laia Sanz, the top female competitor in the Dakar Rally, finished 16th overall on the “pre-production” privateer bike – an impressive feat to say the leaset.
Like its counterpart OEMs, HRC will develop each machine to suit the buyer, with prices expected to reach into the $30,000 to $40,000 realm. Like the pricing schemes from KTM and Yamaha, we imagine that sum comes without any technical support from HRC on the race course.
Still, with Honda taking six stages of this year’s Dakar, and the Yamaha YZ450F Rally showing an increased competitiveness, privateers should revel in the fact that they have a number of options available to them in what used to be a KTM-only affair.
As for a model available to the general public, there is no word that the Honda CRF450 Rally will go into proper production. However, there is this issue of Honda recently trademarking the “Africa Twin” name for the American market, which has certainly raised some eyebrows. A race replica for enthusiasts would certainly be a welcomed addition to the Honda motorcycle line.